Hot Chef: Nick Farina is opening Union Taco at 7th and Girard

Nick Farina is opening Union Taco.  Credit: Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Nick Farina is opening Union Taco.
Credit: Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar

This fall Philly will see the opening of Union Taco, courtesy of Nick Farina. The chef intends to work at both the new taqueria and his tapas restaurant, Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Bryn Mawr. We chatted with him about his reasons for choosing 7th and Girard as the future home to his upscale taco joint, and his previous job as a personal chef for one of the Phils.

Do you have an opening date set for Union Taco?
Tentatively, but that can always change. Right now we’re aiming for Oct. 8.

Union Taco has a few elevated options on the menu, like duck, fig and manchego flatbread. Why go this route rather than a basic taqueria?
I guess because I love that flavor profile. The concept here — and really our motto — is “where the gringo meets the streets.” It’s Mexican street food with an American twist.

You’ve got Verdad, a tapas place in Bryn Mawr. Why open Union Taco in the city?
We don’t have a presence in the city, and this will give us one. I love the demographic there — I love the mix of people. And really, being in the city is fun. My thought process is that that area is making a real push forward and if I’m there I’m ahead of the curve — or at least right with it. I came onto the Main Line after it became and established area. But with Union Taco I’m a little bit ahead.

Will you work at both spots?
Yeah, I’ll probably split my time equally and go back and forth between both. Union Taco will probably be busier early in the day and at lunch. Then I’ll head to Verdad for dinner service.

You were once a personal chef for Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal. How was that?
That was interesting. And different. I would go make him breakfast; then, while he was eating it, I would make dinner and he would wrap it up and eat it after a game. I did it for one season. It was neat to see how somebody who plays a sport like that lives their life.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."